Independence Hotel is a restored, 1960s gem with its own private stretch of beautiful beach. Outside Sihanoukville town, it has a real private resort feel and offers a slice of Cambodia’s jetset getaway past.
From USD $130 per night to USD $1000 per night including breakfast and Wi-Fi.
The Independence Hotel features a range of dining venues, from the Coral Restaurant with its striking round ceiling and international buffet fare, to the History Lounge Bar for drinks and snacks, and the gorgeous Sunset Terrace set on a stunning raised platform overlooking the beach and specialising in seafood.
The rooms at the Independence are simply decorated in neutral tones, with the drawcard being the big glass windows overlooking the sea.
The rooms are air-conditioned and come equipped with cable television, a mini-bar and wireless internet access.
The premier room is the Jacqueline Kennedy suite, located at the top of the hotel with expansive ocean views. The suite is oversized at 135 square metres and features furniture and décor reflecting the 1960s.
There are 3 Deluxe Suites, 22 Deluxe Rooms and 24 Superior Rooms, while a new wing features four room categories, ranging from Deluxe Club rooms with ocean-facing balconies through to a Premier Pool Villa with private plunge pool.
Facilities at the Independence Hotel include a swimming pool, fitness centre, massage service, car hire, a car park should you have your own vehicle, conference and meeting facilities, kayak and bicycle hire and a children’s pool and playground.
Sihanoukville’s Independence Hotel was originally built in the early 1960s and was abandoned to squatters during the tumultuous Khmer Rouge era in the 1970s.
It has since been restored to its former glory, with the original 7 storey modernist structure providing a taste of Cambodia’s past as a destination for the rich and famous during pre-war years.
Jacqueline Kennedy was rumoured to be among the elite guests the hotel once attracted, hence the suite named after her. The hotel’s interiors were designed by King Norodom Sihanouk. In addition to the original building, there is now a new wing featuring more contemporary styled guestrooms, most with ocean views.
There is a sizable swimming pool behind the hotel, including a small children’s pool. The hotel fronts onto a beautiful stretch of white sand beach. The beach is decidedly tranquil, with few visitors and a refreshing lack of touts or roaming salespeople.
The hotel is an ideal place for either a quiet getaway or a relaxed family holiday, though it even caters for business groups, with conference and meeting facilities.
"The private beach is superb - clean, beautiful white sand, warm sea, almost empty, secure and hassle-free. For this and the sunsets, I would love to stay at the Independence again."
Not Lost, Manchester, UK
"This hotel trades on the fact that it was the 1st large one in Cambodia, and that Jacqueline Kennedy stayed there in 1967. They deliberately keep things quiet which makes the beach atmosphere superb if you like it that way which we do. If you want jet skis et al, go elsewhere." Rivbom, Exeter, UK
"The hotel was very quiet and the beach was serene. There was someone cleaning the beach each time we spent time there. It was very well kept. The staff were very courteous and all our wants and needs were attended to. The rooms were well appointed and had all the amenities."
AZ2Dailain, Arizona, USA